§ Mr. Bellingham
asked the Chancellor of Exchequer how much money has qualified for income tax relief under the business expansion scheme and its predecessor the business start-up scheme in the fiscal years 1982–83 and 1983–84; and how much of that money was invested in small businesses defined as having fewer than 200 employees and very small businesses having fewer than 50 employees.
§ Mr. Moore
About £18 million was invested under the business start-up scheme during 1981–82 and 1982–83—mostly during 1982–83. Information about the business expansion scheme in 1983–84 is not yet complete, but the estimates published in the "Treasury Economic Progress Report", December 1984, indicated that at least £75 million was invested in over 300 companies. On the basis of a preliminary analysis of some 230 companies receiving BES investments in 1983–84, about 98 per cent. were shown to have fewer than 200 employees; these received over 96 per cent. of the total amount invested. About 80 per cent. of companies had fewer than 50 employees; these received about 65 per cent. of total investment.